My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Snapchat buying Bitstrips heralds Polaroid trend for Personal Printable Emoji Stickers

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Why Snapchat buying Bitstrips heralds Polaroid trend for Personal Printable Emoji Stickers

Snapchat is now officially jumping on a bandwagon even bigger than emojis.

This time it's via the purchase of Bitstrips some US$100 million in Cash and stock as noted in “Snapchat buys Bitstrips for its crazy, personalized emoji”, published March 25, 2016 by Christian de Looper, Digitaltrends.
 

In case you've been eating my Glow-In-The-Dark Foska Oats, Guinness Lasco Wray and Nephew Rum Ice Cream as described in my blog article entitled “How to make Glow-In-The-Dark Foska Oats, Guinness Lasco Wray and Nephew Rum Ice Cream” and you're hung over for the Easter (vvvvvery bad of you!), Bitstrips is a bit of an oddball.

Bitstrips is a Canadian startup circa in 2007 that began with the intent of riding the wave of personalized digital comic books as pointed out in “Exclusive: Snapchat Buys Bitmoji Maker”, published March 24, 2016 by Dan Primack, Fortune. They've since evolved into an app that makes customizable and shareable avatars called bitmojis that you can dress up and us for communications.

Kinda like the Mii's in Nintendo's first Mobile Gaming App Miitomo as described in my MICO Wars Blog article entitled “How Nintendo’s Miitomo Social Gaming Network amassed 1 million users in 3 days”. 

Bitstrips got handed some US$11 million in venture capital funding from firms like Horizons Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. So why Snapshat splurging US$100 million on a cartoon avatar company!?

Snapchat buys bitmoji - Why printable stickers in you likeness is the Polaroid trend for emojis

First thing first, US$100 million is fairly modest for a purchase, suggesting that the acquisition was more about the covering the cost of bills, intellectual property and physical assets than anything else.

After all, this deal isn't yet confirmed by Snapchat. But if it's real, then it fulfilling a trend I'd predicted towards Americans buying stickers as Japanese users of the VoIP app LINE currently do as noted in my blog article entitled “Why Japanese Line introduces Line Call for Landline and Mobile is WhatsApp and Skype Competition”.

Possibly Snapchat plans to make their facial recognition software play nice with the Bitmojis, creating a mash-up of cartoons that look photo realistic. In other words, cartoon avatars that look a lot more like you in real life but without the design hassle associated with designing your own bitmojis


Eventually, I suspect, Snapshat will allow you to print and order physics copies of your stickers in the mail, possibly paid for using Snapcash, their mobile money platform launched November 2014 as described in my blog article entitled “Why @Snapchat is rolling out Snapcash Mobile Money Platform Teenagers and Millennials”.

As far-fetched as it may sound that Millennials and Generation Z and by extension foreign-minded Jamaicans would spend money to buy stickers, digital or physical, keep in mind the fact that these are personal sticker bitmojis based on your likeness.

This is the equivalent of Polaroid Snap, the device that allows you to print out your Smartphone pictures as described in my MICO Wars Blog article entitled “US$99 Polaroid Snap is the perfect Christmas gift for your Vinyl loving Hipster Photographer”.

With Millennials and Generation Z embracing the idea of taking Polaroids, a trend that the hipster-esque Millennials started since November 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “Why US Millennials are taking Polaroid Pictures as Analog Photography back in Vogue” , bitmoji sticker are the next big thing among Generation Z.




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